The Role of Archives in Nation Building

907110fcc5Interesting article about how archives are being used in South Sudan as part of the nation building project.

Dr Johnson, a distinguished Sudan historian, best known for his work on the Abyei Boundaries Commission, and author of The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars andWhen Borders Become Boundaries, explained that every government produces new documents daily, and every government needs an efficient archive service in order to preserve and retrieve documents when needed. Despite this, archives in South Sudan have always been given a low priority in national development planning and funding, being seen as a matter of history and the past, rather than the present.

Yet many of the current political debates in South Sudan have their roots in the nation’s political past, and the record of that debate can be found in various archives – such as the manifestos of South Sudan’s political parties and exile movements preserved in the administrative records in Juba.

Questions of national reconciliation can benefit from an examination of the way previous governments promoted reconciliation on a regular basis at the local level.

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